The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

    Africa Tent Celebration- A Learning Environment Without Walls

    On February 28-29 2008, Fresno City College will be hosting the first Africa tent celebration. Modeled after the tent based booths of the 2007 United States Social Forum, this will consist of many large open tents connected together to link the activities while allowing each to function independently.

    When Dr. Jean Kennedy attended the US social forum, she described the involvement of young people and uplifting. She met high school and college students who eagerly came from all over the country anyway they could. Some gone to great lengths to attend, despite only having plans for transportation one-way; these students put together a wall covered by postcard saying “I need a ride back.”

    The event ran June 27-July 1 2007 in at Atlanta, Georgia and was accessible 24 hours a day. Stranded on the grounds after missing the last subway one night; the atmosphere of safety the event fostered struck her. She found many people easily found places in the grass and slept. She never heard of anyone being bothered or missing anything.

    Dr. Kennedy said the tents supported “vision and safety beyond skin color…. It’s what I want to see on our conservative campus.”

    Believing Black history month would allow her to bring the spirit of the event to Fresno City College, Dr. Kennedy was excited to undertake coordinating black history month events.

    Scheduled for two days, a variety of events will take place.

    “This is a learning environment. This is when they (students) ask ‘Why is injustice there?’ It makes a connection.”

    On the 28, activities will focus on learning, with many activist groups from the community invited and several instructors holding class under the tent. Among the activities, a speaker will discuss drumming used for healing, and is inviting everyone to bring their drums for a drum circle.

    “This tent will focus on representing some of the major issues and movements that unite people around common issues.”

    The 29 will celebrate the February birthday of iconic musician Bob Marley and his ideal of one love, with an encouragement to for people to have wear Marley shirts. The One Love celebration will recognize many icons, and feature food, music, and vendors.

    Worried that people might dismiss this as an “African American” event, Dr. Kennedy wants to stress the open invitation of the event. The tent will have sections featuring student artwork and a section to allow guests to express themselves. “We want to draw the students to hang out at the tent.”

    This will be the first event of its kind at Fresno City College and Dr. Kennedy says student turnout can make it the first of many.

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